Nov 22, 2017

Black Friday 2017: must-have accessories for your new gaming console

By Kyle Foley

There are plenty of great deals on (most) video game systems during this weekend's big shopping extravaganza—unless you're trying to score a just-released Xbox One X on the cheap or a super-popular Nintendo Switch. Regardless, buying a new console is just the first step in a long, wonderful purchasing journey, and we're not just talking about games.  

Now that you have your new console or handheld, here are a few of the most important accessories you're going to want to add to your shopping list to make your experience even better.

The best headphones for almost every console: Astro's A50s

If you picked up a brand-new Xbox or PlayStation console, odds are good that you're going to want to spend a lot of time with it over the coming days and weeks. If you share your living situation with others, they probably aren't going to want to hear your gaming marathons throughout the night. Astro's A50 Wireless Headsets are available for the Xbox One and PlayStation 4, and they offer incredible sound quality (and looks) for their price—high, but reasonable.

YourTechReport: “ we've always said, value is a measure of what you spend versus what you get, and in that respect the $300 you spend you get so much in return.”

If you find the A50s to be a little out of your price range—or can't find them as part of a killer Black Friday deal—the best budget headset option s Astro's A10 Gaming Headset for the Xbox One or PlayStation 4. They retail for $60, but you can definitely find them for less this holiday season.  

RandomFrankP: “I would give it a 7.5/10. The price point definitely gives it some extra bonus points"

For the Nintendo Switch, Tom's Guide is a big fan of the SteelSeries Arctis 3—"the nicest-looking gaming headset you can buy, with slim earcups and a cozy ski-goggle headband you can swap out to suit your personal style." 

However, now that Nintendo has released an update for the Switch that lets a few wireless headsets connect to its console, Polygon puts the PlayStation Gold and PlayStation Platinum headsets on its Switch shopping list. You read that right. 

When your console runs out of storage...

If you don't want to void your warranty by replacing the internal hard drive in your Xbox One or PlayStation 4 with something larger, you'll have to use a USB-connected external hard drive to give your console more space. Wirecutter recommends the Seagate Backup Plus Slim, which can give you an extra 2TB of storage—double what you'll find on the Xbox One X and PlayStation 4 Pro—for a mere $70 (as of when we wrote this).

Here's how to set up your new external drive on the PlayStation 4:

And here's how you'll set it up on the Xbox One:

You won't need a bulky portable hard drive for the Nintendo Switch. Instead, you'll need to purchase a much smaller microSD card, which you'll insert under the console's kickstand on its rear.  The Switch supports microSD cards up to 2TB in size, and Nintendo recommends you use an UHS-I (Ultra High Speed) microSD card.  You can get a microSD card rated for higher speeds, but Gamespot found that you won't see much of a difference in performance—just a big difference in price.

Gamespot recommends the SanDisk Ultra 64GB microSDXC UHS-I Card, but we think you should push up to 128GB, given just how much space digital downloads can take up. (Don't forget add-ons for physical games you purchase, like the 9GB download to unlock Doom's multiplayer.)

Better controllers for your gaming binges

If you need a little more finesse and precision for your gaming, consider upgrading your controller; or, at the very least, consider these picks if you're looking to add a few more controllers for some local multiplayer fun.

For the Xbox One, Windows Central recommends the Xbox Elite Controller—no surprise there, given just how well Microsoft engineered this official upgrade.

Windows Central: "Everything has been upgraded. The thumbsticks are removable, as is the D-pad, and they can be replaced with different options depending on your preferences for the games you play. There are four additional paddles on the back, configurable firing mechanisms, and custom button mapping with the Xbox Accessories app for Xbox One and Windows 10. The materials are as close to wear-resistant as Microsoft can get, and once you hold one next to a regular controller, the differences are clear — and astounding."

PlayStation 4 gamers should check out the Razer Raiju. It's expensive—nearly four times the price of Sony's standard DualShock 4 controller—but Expert Reviews says it's worth every penny if you're a normal gamer looking to kick up your skills and competitiveness.

Expert Reviews: "Its thumbsticks are incredibly responsive; the sprung touchpad is a pleasure to use; and the hair triggers provide the perfect amount of sensitivity. Razer has also added four mappable buttons – two on the underside and two next to the shoulder buttons – so pro players never have to move their thumbs from the sticks to hit the pad’s face buttons."

And if you need more of a traditional controller format than the unique (and tiny) design of Nintendo's Joy-Cons for the Switch, check out the Nintendo Switch Pro Controller. Though it makes your gameplay experience less portable—we doubt you'll want to carry this one around alongside your Switch—Tom's Guide days it's much better-suited for TV gaming.

Tom's Guide: "'If you play on your TV a lot, a Pro controller is almost essential,' said Sam Rutherford, former senior product review analyst for Tom’s Guide. 'The ideal setup is to have a Pro controller for use at home … so you can leave your Joy-Cons docked at all times.'"